May 22-28, 2003
Considering that they live all of a 90-minute drive away, the fact that it's going two years since the last time The Rapture visited our sleepy little town is close to inexcusable. But then, accessibility isn't this New York quartet's strong suit. Though it's been finished for over a year, Echoes, the band's long-awaited second album, still has yet to see the light of day; at one point, the only copy was allegedly glued into a CD player so it couldn't be duplicated. The album's tantalizing unavailability (at least to anyone who hasn't lucked into it on the Internet) has only whetted the appetites of fans still reeling from the one-two combination of the band's powerhouse 12-inch singles "House of Jealous Lovers" and "Olio." Opening Gang of Four-style with a loping bassline and sizzling high-hat, "Lovers" is jagged, thrilling and sexually frenzied, singer Luke Jenner's voice constantly rising in strangulated ecstasy, as if it wants to work its way out of his body. (Think Robert Smith crossed with Gordon Gano.) Unlike the rest of their trendy NYC peers, The Rapture remember that Gang of Four were as interesting below the waist. The rest of Echoes fulfills, maybe even amplifies the promise of "Lovers," from the quasi-house "I Need Your Love" to the a capella harmonies (soon smashed on the rocks of slashing guitar) that open "Heaven." Already huge in Britain (where 12-inches are enough to sustain hype) and New York (where hype needs no sustenance at all), The Rapture are a half-step away from catching on all over. Grab a piece while there's some left.
Sun., May 25, 8 p.m., $12-$14, with The Boggs, The TLA, 334 South St., 215-336-2000.